Premier League Round 15

12 Dec

Round 15 in the Premier League saw some big changes in the scorers lists. Robin van Persie continued his goal a game average, whilst Rooney’s goal drought was broken with a brace against Wolves taking him up to 11 for the season, whilst seeing his average opponent per goal dropping to 12.18. Also on 11 goals after the weekend is Newcastle’s Demba Ba after his double against 11th placed Norwich – meaning that his average stays at a consistent 10.64.

Two significant movers on the Average Opposition Index were both playing in the same game at Stamford Bridge. Mario Balotelli’s opener meant that he moved level with Robin van Persie in goals against Top 6 opposition with 4. This also means that he retains the best average (for those with 6 goals or more). The other scorer to benefit in that game was Frank Lampard, who through his winning penalty, lost the lowest average per opponent for each goal. This was also Lampard’s first goal against Top 6 opposition, leaving Yakubu as the only player without a Top 6 goal. Unsurprisingly, this leaves him with the worst average, although as mentioned previously, he is generally always playing against a better team than his own.

Honourable mentions to Steve Fletcher and Norwich duo Holt and Morison who all scored against Top 6 opponents at the weekend, and remaining in the top scorers list.

Lampard and Rafael van der Vaart continue to be the only midfielders in the list.

With regards to Average Opposition for each team, the below table shows this per team:

Surprisingly, Sunderland have had the easiest run of fixtures in the opening 15 fixtures this season. This perhaps helps to understand why Steve Bruce was sacked. Despite having the easiest set of fixtures (based on their opponents at the start of the round), they were still in a lowly 16th position. Sunderland fans will hope Martin O’Neill can build on his winning start. Similarly to struggling Sunderland, Wigan, West Brom and Blackburn have also had easier run ins than most.

Man City, Swansea, Fulham and Bolton are close to the average 10.5 opposition that you’d expect to see over the course of a season – although this changes slightly depending on each team’s ranking.

At the other end of the scale, Liverpool can count themselves quite unlucky with their start. Only once have they played opposition below 12th – in a 4-0 defeat to a then lowly Spurs. They’ve also played Arsenal, Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea – and were unbeaten in those games. Man Utd can also point to a similarly difficult start to the season – despite this, they are sitting in 4th, just 2 points behind their Manchester rivals.

I’ll be looking at clean sheets by ranges in the next round of fixtures.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: